MISSION WOODS CHURCH
Worship. Sunday October 3, 2021
      • Bible Trivia
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      • Bible Trivia
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  • Come Just As You Are
  • Here I Am , Lord
  • #6 All Who Are Thirsty
  • Blessed Be Your Name
      • Mark 10:24–25ESV

  • Let’s listen to our Scripture for this morning: Hebrews 4:9-16. I’d like to invite Drew up to read for us:
    Hebrews 4:9–16 ESV
    So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his. Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account. Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
    This is a reading from God’s Holy Word.
    Thanks be to God.
    God’s word is indeed powerful.
    Thus far, we’ve looked at 4 of our Vitals:
    Lifelong Discipleship Formation
    Authentic Intentional Evangelism
    Outward Incarnational Focus
    Empower Servant Leadership
    Today we’re going to look at:
    Spirit Inspired Worship & Caring Relationships
    It is appropriate that we are discussing this on World Communion Sunday. Today, as on every Sunday, Christians around the world are gathering. Today, Christians around the world are celebrating communion, and today, especially today, we recognize that we are not only Mission Woods Church, a part of the Presbyterian Church USA denomination. We are a part of the greater Church world wide. We are as we will profess later just one part of the worldwide Catholic (Universal) Church.
    Knowing this is true we must also recognize the same Holy spirit that we might see working in other congregations is working in our church as well. Think about that for a moment. The One church worships in every country of the world, on every continent of the world, in almost every language of the world, and you are a part of that. I don’t know about you, but that inspires me.
    Let’s take a moment to think of some of the languages we know of, shout them out!
    [Spanish, English, Russian, German, Chinese, Korean, Portugese, Swahili, French, Japanese, Pishtu, Nepalese, Cherokee, Navaho, Inuit, Sign language, and so many more].
    Hundreds of languages, perhaps thousands of dialects all worshiping our one Creator God.
    Ephesians 4:4–6 ESV
    There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
    Let’s take a quick look at how you as our congregation graded us in the two areas of spirit filled worship and caring relationships.
    This is so true. Worship is about God. We get to come on Holy Ground, encounter the presence of the living God, and are sent to live lives of wonder, love, and praise.
    When you were asked about this, our score was slightly above, but on par with the denomination.
    The church leads inspiring worship - 47% somewhat well, and 44% said very well. That’s 91%!
    Challenges my assumptions? 63% said to some extent, 25% to a great extent.
    Helps me understand Scripture? 75% said to a great extent. Another 19% said some extent. That’s 94%.
    Inspires me to action. 24% said to a great extent. 58% said somewhat.
    And finally on worship you were given the chance to share your experiences felt during worship:
    80% of you said that you usually or always felt God's presence.
    78% said you felt connected usually or always.
    Now I want you to look at the zeroes. 0% responded that they usually or always felt bored, frustrated or judged.

    Check Your Vitals (Part 3)

    Giving glory to God is primary to everything we do. And as we know the greatest Commandment as quoted by Jesus was to Love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. And the second is like it, to love our neighbor as ourself, and so we get to the topic of caring relationship.
    We scored 87% there. Instead of a closed, judgmental community, people find freedom to share stories, encounter the Savior, and ask for help.
    Looking at our church community:
    The church loves and cares for all its members - we try, and 78% said we do that very well. Yet, 22% said slightly or somewhat well.
    There is serious conflict in the church - 92% said that’s not true, the other 8% didn’t know.
    There are members who have been and are still hurt by this church. Only 11% said that’s not true. 37% didn’t know. The other 52% said that is somewhat, true, or very true.
    On behalf of the leadership of this church, if you have been hurt that is not what we want. We believe the church should be a place of healing, so I invite you to come talk with me or to talk with an elder or deacon about your hurt. Let’s resolve it.
    When we look at the individual
    84% said they feel a strong sense of belonging. 91% recognized it would be noticeable if they quit coming.
    In the area of cliques, 1/3 said this church sometimes feels cliquish and I feel left out. That’s an area we need to work on.
    72% said they have at least one close friend in the congregation.
    100% said we support them through their prayers to some or to a great extent.
    94% said the church makes them feel that their opinions are valued.

    Check Your Vitals (Part 3)

    In our passage this morning we read, Heb 4:9-10 “So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.” and the author goes on to say:
    Hebrews 4:11 ESV
    Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience.
    In the Psalm we opened with this morning, Psalm 95, it ends with God declaring his anger against those who would not listen to His voice, they were disobedient and God declared, “They shall never enter my rest.”
    WE strive to enter God’s rest, we strive to obey by listening to God’s voice in God’s Word. And when we read the word, we discover
    Hebrews 4:12 ESV
    For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
    Heb 4:13 “And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”
    Think about that. Our God sees all, we are exposed. Not just our actions, our thoughts, our intentions are exposed to our Creator’s all seeing eyes. And yet as we continue to read in our passage we are reminded that we have a high priest who understands.
    Hebrews 4:15 ESV
    For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.
    And then the author ends this thought with this encouragement:
    Hebrews 4:16 ESV
    Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
    God’s throne of grace. A place to receive mercy and grace.
    Years ago, there was a song by a group that said, “When we get what we don’t deserve, it’s a real good thing.” and then in the song they said, “When we don’t get what we deserve, it’s a real good thing.” What they’re speaking of is grace and mercy. Grace is receiving what we don’t deserve. You and I are sinners and yet God extends love and forgiveness to us through our Lord Jesus Christ. God invites us to come and be in the very throne room, to offer up our concerns and offer our offerings. All of that at literally not based on anything we’ve done but solely on who God is. That is grace.
    And when we think that the Holy One, the Righteous Judge can sit on the judgment seat and extend to those who have violated every commandment (because according to Scripture when you break one you break them all), forgiveness instead of wrath and judgment. That’s mercy, and something we don’t deserve.
    God did it for us, through the cross on which Jesus died, and through the resurrection that promises us new life where the old has gone and the new has come.
    It’s what Bonhoeffer was speaking of when he called it, “Costly grace.”
    Paul put it this way, Ephesians 2:8-9
    Ephesians 2:8–9 ESV
    For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
    This is a grace that has been lavished upon us with all wisdom and understanding, God knew exactly what He was doing.
    You are here, in this place, in this worship service, because of the grace of God. God is calling you. How are you responding?
    Flippantly? - just going through the motions?
    Or, are you hearing God’s word to you today, in your heart.
    In a few moments we will be celebrating Communion with Christians around the world. Take a moment to consider God’s call on your life.
    Remember, Heb 4:15-16
    Hebrews 4:15–16 ESV
    For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
    This is the Word of the Lord,
    Thanks be to God.
    AMEN
    As we prepare for communion, I’m going to ask that we leave these words up on the screen that it might be our meditation this morning as we partake of the gift God has given for us all.
      • Hebrews 4.9-11ESV

      • Hebrews 4.12-13ESV

      • Hebrews 4.14-15ESV

      • Hebrews 4.16ESV

      • Ephesians 4:4–6ESV

      • Hebrews 4:11ESV

      • Hebrews 4:12ESV

      • Hebrews 4:15ESV

      • Hebrews 4:16ESV

      • Ephesians 2:8–9ESV

      • Hebrews 4:15–16ESV

  • In Remembrance
  • Make Me A Servant
  • He's Got The Whole World

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